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MAC Players Of The Week: Week Three

BGSU; NIU lead the way of back-ups thrust into starting roles that were honored in Week Three.

Bowling Green QB James Knapke leads Falcons to win over Indiana
Bowling Green QB James Knapke leads Falcons to win over Indiana
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Didn't start the season at the top of the depth chart?  No problem.

Three back-up quarterbacks thrown into starting roles early on this season headline Week 3's MAC Player Of The Week Awards, which were announced by the Mid-American Conference this morning.

Bowling Green Falcons quarterback James Knapke, who is filling in for the injured Matt Johnson, led the Falcons to a come-from-behind victory over Indiana.  Knapke set school records in completions (46) and attempts (73), with a career-high 395 yards and three touchdowns, the last one to Roger Lewis with nine seconds remaining to give BGSU the win.  Knapke wins the East Offensive Player of the Week prize.

Two other "originally intended to be back-up" quarterbacks will split the West prize this week, with Drew Hare of the Northern Illinois Huskies claiming the first one.  Hare began the year in a three-way battle for the starting quarterback job with Matt McIntosh and Anthony Maddie, and was third in line to start the season.  Hare vaulted into the starting gig two weeks ago, and was 18-for-28 for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the win over UNLV.  Hare also ran for a score.

Toledo Rockets quarterback Logan Woodside also gets honored despite the Rockets' loss to Cincinnati.  Woodside, playing for Phillip Ely who is done with a torn ACL, had three touchdowns as well on 322 yards passing.

Defensively, Miami RedHawks' defensive back Quinten Rollins registered a career-high six tackles and an interception in the loss at Michigan.  He wins the East award. Western Michigan Broncos defensive tackle Cleveland Smith had a monster game against Idaho, picking up three sacks, three tackles and three tackles-for-loss.  Smith claims the West Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Two kickers grab the Special Teams Awards, BGSU's Tyler Tate out East and NIU's Tyler Wedel out West.  Tate was 4-for-4 on field goals in the victory over the Hoosiers.  Wedel was 2-for-2 on his field goals and 6-for-6 on extra points in the win in Vegas.


Offense: BGSU QB James Knapke; NIU QB Drew Hare; Toledo QB Logan Woodside

Defense: Miami DB Quinten Rollins; Western Michigan DT Cleveland Smith

Special Teams: BGSU K Tyler Tate; NIU K Tyler Wedel